Tag Archives: deception

The Plan

His eyes were trained on her face but his mind was faraway. Tears pooled in his eyes and he fought to hold them back. Was this what their relationship had degenerated into? His ego was deflated as his mind swam with different thoughts.

“Ayodeji, are you listening to me?” Olamide asked tapping him.

He looked at her. She only called him “Ayodeji” when she was angry or needed his attention.

“Ayodeji.” She called again.

He nodded. “I have heard you, Olamide.”

“No, I don’t think you heard me.”

“I did. You said you needed to get married to Chief for a better future.”

“I said….” She paused for emphasis. “For a better future for us and our kids. You were not listening to me, Ayodeji.” She said getting angry.

“I’m sorry but I don’t understand how you would be married to Chief and still have a future with me.”

Olamide sighed and stood up. “Ayodeji, I explained everything just now.” She took a deep breath. “Okay, I will explain all over again.”

Deji nodded his response and tried not to drift away into his thoughts this time.

“I said that Chief has asked me to be his fifth wife. He has promised to take care of me and my unborn children. So the plan is; I would get married to Chief but we would continue to see each other. I will carry your kids and have them for Chief. But we both know the kids are yours. When we have made enough money from Chief, we would elope together to maybe the U.S with our kids. Chief would have no idea what hit him.” Olamide said smiling.

“And what happens when Chief finds out about us?”

“How would he find out?” Olamide sneered.

Deji shrugged.

“C’mon Deji, this could be the big break we have been looking forward to. You haven’t been able to secure a job for the past four years since graduation. And this opportunity drops on our laps on a platter of gold. What else do you want?”

Deji sighed. “Hmm….Olamide, I am not so sure about this. You seem to have everything all planned out.”

Olamide laughed. “Of course, ain’t I a combination of beauty and brains?”

********

Deji put his head in his hands. They started dating six years ago while they were still students at the University of Calabar. Four years ago, they both graduated. Deji with First class honours in Chemical Engineering and Olamide with a Second class lower degree in Biochemistry. It had taken Olamide just six months after their National Youth Service to gain employment in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria. Deji on the other hand had thrown his resume in various organizations but was yet to get a call for an interview. He had been frustrated but Olamide had stood by him and encouraged him to keep his hopes high.

Olamide had met Chief during their last end of year party in the office. Deji had refused to go with her as he got tired of attending the parties when he had no job. Some of Olamide’s colleagues were young graduates and seeing them having fun and partying in their office further dampened his spirit.

Chief was a friend to one of Olamide’s bosses and he had given her his card and asked that she kept in touch. At first, she had been indifferent but when she heard how Chief doled out money to those who stayed close to him, she decided to do same. She had met up with Chief for dinner on a number of occasions but always lied to Deji that she was working late. She traveled out of the country once with Chief and he had lavished her with gifts. She lied to Deji that she was on an official assignment and he had believed her. When Chief proposed marriage to her, she had told him to give her a few days to think about it. She thought hard and long about the offer. She did not want to break Deji’s heart as she still loved him; but right now, their future seemed bleak. She also had no intention of staying married to Chief. She only needed him to boost her financial status. She therefore hatched a plan which she knew could not fail. Chief had no idea she still kept a boyfriend. Even though, she had mentioned Chief to Deji, she never told him she had been having dalliances with him.

 

“Deji, my love.” Olamide said as she knelt in front of him and raised up his head. “This plan would work, trust me.”

Deji sighed deeply.

Olamide slept over at Deji’s apartment that night. She teased his body and whispered into his ears that it was a night of celebration for them. In anger and despair, Deji hardly let her go through out the night and barely allowed her to catch some sleep as he knew in his heart that this was probably the last time he would ever touch her.

******

Three weeks later, Olamide got married to Chief at an elaborate wedding. Pictures of the couple were splashed in newspapers and magazines. Their honeymoon was in Cancun and Olamide broke the internet with pictures of herself and her husband. Deji saw her pictures both in the papers and on social media. The love he and Olamide had proclaimed for six years had been washed down the drain by the love for fame and fortune. Deji became a recluse; hardly stepping out of his apartment. Soon, he began a descent into depression. A few of his friends who were aware of his relationship called him severally on the phone but he refused to pick their calls. His elder sister who was in the U.S also called him as she usually did every weekend but Deji refused to take her calls as well. Life lost meaning to him.

 

After two weeks of honeymoon, Olamide and her husband returned to Nigeria. As soon as they arrived home, Olamide told her husband that she wanted to go visit her parents.

“That’s okay darling. Yusuf will take you.” Chief said.

“Honey, I can drive myself.” Olamide replied.

“I know you can; but no wife of mine will go out without a driver and an escort.”

“Chief?” Olamide exclaimed.

“Yes darling. Now run along and come back quickly so we can continue from where we stopped.” He said winking at her.

“Don’t worry Chief. I will just give them a call to inform them that I am back in town.” Olamide said frowning.

Chief smiled. “Good. Let’s go in and have another one before the other women recover from slumber.” He said as he held her by the waist.

*******

The next day, Olamide woke up and was shocked by the sight before her. She quickly pulled her duvet closer to cover her naked body. A man in a red wrapper and a red cloth tied round his head stood in her bedroom. He was holding a calabash and making some incantations. She was about to scream when Chief walked out of her bathroom. He saw the look on her face and smiled.

“Oh darling, don’t be scared. He just came to do some regular rituals for you.”

“Ri…ri…rituals Chief. I…I don’t understand.” Olamide said stammering.

Chief shrugged. “It’s not difficult or painful. It is just a few incisions on your breasts and vagina.”

“What?” Olamide screamed.

“Stop shouting my darling. The older wives all went through it. They can confirm to you that it is not painful.”

Tears began to stream down Olamide’s cheeks. “Chief, what did I do wrong?”

“No, no, no. You did not do anything wrong. It is for your protection for when another man touches you.”

“My protection? How Chief?” Olamide cried.

“Any man that touches you will die an instant death.” Chief said matter-of-factly.

“Chief?” Olamide screamed as her eyes grew big.

“Relax. Once the man dies, we become richer.”

Olamide put her hands on her head and burst into fresh tears. She was Chief’s pawn. She thought about Deji and his face flashed before her. What would he think of her? Was their plan for a future going down before her like a pack of badly arranged cards? Oh how happy they had been before she met Chief. Even though Deji had no job, his smiles were enough medicine for her when she was down.

She shook her head as she thought about Chief’s four wives. How many men had Chief’s wives slept with for him to become this rich? It all made sense to her now when Chief’s wives had been indifferent towards her when he introduced her to them. She had always heard about troublesome older wives but she had been shocked that they all accepted her without an objection.

As she opened her legs for Chief’s herbalist to make his incisions, she regretted the day she hatched the plan which had now become her undoing.

———-

Photo Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com

Love, Lies and Murder – Part 3

The secret affair between Taiwo and Mojirayo continued; both of them taking pleasure in themselves anytime Kehinde stepped out of the house. Mojirayo continued to fulfil her wifely duties to Baba Ibeji even though she still generated sneers from her co-wives. Taiwo and Kehinde gained admission some months after into the Lagos State Polytechnic to read Agricultural Technology and Marketing respectively. Baba Ibeji insisted he wanted them close by; therefore staying in the hostel on campus was out of the question. Taiwo smiled sheepishly on hearing his father’s instruction. As long as he went to school from home, he had unfettered access to Mojirayo. Due to the difference in their courses and lecture timing, Taiwo took full advantage of the situation and left the campus premises most times without his brother.

About eight months into their secret relationship, Mojirayo realized she had missed her period for two consecutive months and was beginning to feel sick. She had not been consistent with her birth control pills for a while and it dawned on her that she might be pregnant. She became confused as to who the father of her unborn baby was. Was it Baba Ibeji or Taiwo? She tried to do a calculation backwards to deduce who she had laid with during her most fertile period. Her mother had taught her how to check her fertile period, ensure she laid with her husband during the season and note down the date in a diary. By her calculations, she realized Taiwo could be the father of her baby. The thought gave her mixed feelings and she became more confused. She was carrying a baby for her husband’s son. She sighed as she began to think of a plan.

Taiwo came in early from school as usual. He went into his room, dropped his knapsack on his bed and faced Mojirayo’s room. He eased himself quietly into her room without knocking on the door. Mojirayo was about getting dressed when Taiwo grabbed the dress and held it away from her.

“Not so fast.” He said as he encircled his arms around her waist.

Mojirayo smiled but snatched her dress back from Taiwo. “We need to talk.” She said as she wore her dress.

Taiwo shrugged. “What’s there to talk about?” He asked smiling.

“This is serious, Taiwo. I am not joking.”

Taiwo noticed the change in her countenance and sat on her bed. “What is wrong?”

“I’m pregnant.”

“You are what?” Taiwo shouted as he stood up from her bed.

“You heard me Taiwo. I said I am pregnant.”

“So why are you telling me? Shouldn’t you be giving the news to Baba Ibeji?”

Mojirayo sighed as she blew air through her mouth. “I don’t think Baba Ibeji is the father.”

Taiwo guffawed as he looked at Mojirayo. “So who is the father?”

“You are.” Mojirayo said as she eyed Taiwo.

“You can’t be serious. No, this is a very expensive joke.” Taiwo said shaking his head as he paced round the room.

“Taiwo, do I look like I’m joking?”

“I’m not ready to be a father. Besides, you are my father’s wife.”

“Really? You didn’t think about that when you were sleeping with me.” Mojirayo said with sarcasm as she rolled her eyes.

Taiwo breathed deeply as he sat on her bed. “Okay, let’s think about this clearly. I know we are both upset. What can we do about it?”

********

Kehinde sauntered into the house tired. He went into his room and dumped his knapsack on his bed. He went to the next room to check on Taiwo and found out he wasn’t there. He wondered where he could be as he had told him he was going home. He however, noticed the knapsack on the bed. Maybe he has gone out again; he thought. He was about going to the kitchen to look for something to eat when he heard voices emanating from Mojirayo’s room. Could Baba Ibeji be back so early? He tiptoed towards Mojirayo’s room and realized he could hear a man’s voice. As he moved closer, the man’s voice became clearer and it dawned on him that it was Taiwo talking. What was he doing in Mojirayo’s room? He was about to place his hand on the door handle when he heard….

“Baba Ibeji is ready to be a father. I would tell him I am pregnant so that he thinks the child is his.”

“You will pass my child over to Baba Ibeji?” Taiwo asked.

“I thought you just said you were not ready to be a father.”

“Fine, fine. But this remains a secret between us. It must never be heard by a third party.” Taiwo warned.

“I know. Has anyone found out about us up till now?” Mojirayo sneered.

“Okay.” Taiwo said as he stood up. “I need to go to my room before the house gets full.”

Kehinde slipped away quietly towards his room. What had he just heard? Mojirayo pregnant for Taiwo? How come? Was that the reason why he never stayed back in school and was always in a hurry to go home? How long had this been going on and he never knew? He shook his head as he thought about his twin brother. Was he seduced? He remembered how much Taiwo fought for Mojirayo whenever her co-wives treated her harshly. So this was the reason? He thought about what he could do. Should he tell Baba Ibeji the truth? Mojirayo was a traitor and needed to be treated as such. He sat down on his bed and thought of a plan. Mojirayo needed to be exposed.

The next day, Kehinde told his brother he wasn’t feeling well. He told him he would not be able to make it to school and would like to rest at home. Taiwo nodded as he left the house. Immediately he stepped out, Kehinde went to Mojirayo’s room and knocked on the door. Mojirayo was surprised as she wondered who could be at the door. She knew Taiwo should have left for school. Besides, he no longer knocked on her door. She opened the door and saw Kehinde standing before her.

“Yes, Kehinde. Is there a problem?”

“Yes, there is.” Kehinde said. “Can I come in?”

“Erm….can we talk about it here or maybe in the living room? I will meet you there.” Mojirayo replied.

“It won’t take long. I promise.”

“Okay.” Mojirayo said as she stood at the door.

“I can’t talk while standing here. If it was Taiwo, you would have quickly welcomed him in with open arms.”

Mojirayo looked to the left and to the right of the hall to be sure no one was around or heard Kehinde’s statement. She stepped back immediately and let Kehinde in.

“What do you want?” She asked once Kehinde was in her room.

“You.” Kehinde smiled sheepishly as he rubbed his palms together.

“I don’t understand what you are saying.”

“Okay. Let me put it in a way you will understand. I know you are pregnant and that Taiwo is responsible. I know your plans to pass the baby off as Baba Ibeji’s. Are you following?” He asked with a wicked grin on his face.

Mojirayo looked at him without a word.

“So, if you want me to keep my mouth shut, you would play ball with me. I want to have a taste of what Taiwo has been eating.”

“You are mad. Do you realize I am your father’s wife?”

Kehinde burst out into hysterical laughter.

Mojirayo walked towards the door and shouted. “Get out of my room.”

Kehinde continued to laugh as he walked towards the door. “I will leave you to think about it. You know the way to my room when you are ready; or else, this night, Baba Ibeji would hear the truth.” He said as he slid his palm on her cheek and walked out of her room.

Mojirayo slapped his hand away and slammed the door behind him. She began pacing her room in anger. How dare he threaten her? What rubbish? She took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself down. She had heard that getting upset hurt the baby. She sat down on her bed as she thought of what to do.

A few minutes later, Mojirayo took out her phone from her beside drawer and dialed Taiwo. He picked up on the first ring. “Please come home earlier than usual today.”

“Why? What is wrong?” Taiwo asked.

“It is urgent.”

“Just give me an idea of what it is. Is it about the baby?”

“Yes, something like that.” Mojirayo said.

“Okay, I’ll be home soon.” Taiwo replied as he packed up his books and put them into his knapsack. He left the campus in a hurry, wondering what could be wrong with Mojirayo’s baby.

He got home, dropped his knapsack in his room and quickly walked down to Mojirayo’s room. He made a mental note to check on Kehinde later.

Mojirayo was lying on her bed when Taiwo walked in. She stood up immediately to hug Taiwo and he noticed she had been crying.

“What’s wrong?” Taiwo said as he searched her face. “Is anything wrong with the baby?”

Mojirayo shook her head as she sniffed.

“So why are you crying?”

“Kehinde threatened to tell Baba Ibeji the truth. He must have heard our discussion yesterday. He says I must sleep with him to keep him quiet.”

“What?” Taiwo shouted. “He said that?”

“Yes. He said he is waiting for me in his room once I make up my mind.”

“No!!!” Taiwo shouted in anger. He opened the door of Mojirayo’s room and stormed towards Kehinde’s room.

Mojirayo ran after him as she tried in vain to calm him down. “Taiwo, wait.” But Taiwo was already in front of Kehinde’s door.

********

Kehinde had headphones over his ears as he listened to music from his phone. His eyes were closed and he did not see Taiwo storm into his room. Taiwo yanked off the wrapper he had used to cover himself and realized Kehinde was stark naked. For a brief second, Taiwo was shocked. Kehinde removed the headphones and looked at Taiwo in anger.

“What is the meaning of this?” Kehinde shouted.

Taiwo threw the wrapper back at him so he could cover his nakedness. “So you were truly waiting for Mojirayo to warm your bed?”

Kehinde wrapped his lower body as he sneered. “Haven’t you been enjoying it so far? What is wrong with me having a share of it? I’m sure she would even enjoy me better.”

In an instant, Taiwo’s fist landed on Kehinde’s face and he staggered backward. Kehinde put his palm on his face, brought it to his eye-level and saw blood. His nose was bleeding. He lurched forward to hit Taiwo as Mojirayo screamed. Taiwo was faster and moved away just before Kehinde’s fist landed. Kehinde punched the wall and his hand started bleeding as well. Taiwo hit his brother in the stomach and Kehinde doubled over. Mojirayo stood as she shook wondering what she should do. Should she run out and call the neighbours? Or should she leave them alone to themselves? She was confused.

Taiwo was gaining the upper hand as they both rolled on the floor. Taiwo sat on his brother and squeezed his neck. Kehinde struggled as he tried to push his brother off him. He flailed his hands but Taiwo squeezed his neck even tighter in anger. All of a sudden, Kehinde became still and stop struggling. Mojirayo was the first to notice and she tried to pull Taiwo off his brother. Taiwo still held his brother’s neck and Mojirayo started hitting Taiwo asking him to get off Kehinde. The expression on her face was that of fright and shock as she bent down to place her hand on Kehinde’s chest. Taiwo was still fuming and heaving and Mojirayo had to call his attention. Taiwo’s countenance changed when he saw the look on Mojirayo’s face. He knelt down and tapped his brother as he called his name.

“Get up Kehinde.”

Kehinde was still and Taiwo held his hand up. Kehinde’s hand fell back on its own accord.

“Stop this. It is not funny.” Taiwo said as he shook his brother. “Kehinde, I said get up.” He said; his voice becoming a little shaky.

“He’s not breathing.” Mojirayo said as tears streamed down her cheeks.

Taiwo fell on his haunches as he looked up with a blank stare. “What have I done?” He soliloquized.

Voices began to emanate from downstairs. Taiwo and Mojirayo looked at each other. Mojirayo’s co-wives were beginning to arrive from their shops to prepare lunch for the younger kids. Taiwo put his two hands on his head. Mojirayo folded her palms under her chin as she looked around in confusion. She saw a bottle of beer sticking out from under Kehinde’s bed. She took it and looked away as she hit the bottle on the wall. It splintered and she put it in Kehinde’s limp hand. She tore the dress she was wearing at the bust and started screaming. Taiwo looked at her confused. Has she gone mad? What was she doing?

Mojirayo’s screams generated commotion downstairs and everyone ran upstairs towards Kehinde’s room. As the women burst into the room and saw Kehinde on the floor, they looked at Taiwo’s face and saw Mojirayo crying and struggling to cover up her bust. Kehinde’s mother screamed as she knelt down and lifted up her son. “Kehinde, Kehinde?” She shouted. “What did you do to my son, you wicked girl?”

“He tried to rape me.” Mojirayo said as she cried uncontrollably. “He dragged me from my room, tore my dress and tried to rape me. He also wanted to stab me with the broken bottle in his hand, so I pushed him and he fell down and didn’t stand up again.” She said all in one breath.

Taiwo was astonished. His mother looked at his face as if to confirm the story and he nodded his head. He was at a loss. His tongue was tied and he just continued to nod his head. Iya Kehinde broke out into another scream as she lamented.

The other wives shooed the younger children who were standing by the door back to the living room. The oldest wife spat towards Mojirayo’s direction while the younger wife cursed the day Baba Ibeji brought Mojirayo into their house. As the oldest wife walked out of the room, she took out her mobile phone from her waist pouch and placed a call to Baba Ibeji to find out if he was almost home. He confirmed in the affirmative. She told him to come with the police and gave him details of all that had happened. Baba Ibeji could not believe his ears. He asked his driver to move faster so he could get home on time.

********

Baba Ibeji walked into his house and met Mojirayo seated on the floor in the living room. She was still in her torn dress and everyone stayed away from her like a plague. He looked at her and asked her to tell her story. The oldest wife stood up in anger. “Baba Ibeji, so you think I would lie against her?”

“Woman, sit down.” Baba Ibeji shouted.

“Kehinde did not go to school today. He said he wasn’t feeling fine. After everyone left the house, he came to my room and wanted to sleep with me. I told him I am his father’s wife and he can’t do that.”

Baba Ibeji nodded.

“When he refused to listen to me, I told him I would call you and report him to you. He got angry and tore my dress.” Mojirayo said as she released her hand from her dress and her bust became exposed. “He dragged me to his room, locked the door and undressed. When I tried to open the door to run out, he broke a beer bottle and wanted to stab me with it. I was afraid so I pushed him. He fell down and didn’t stand up again.”

Baba Ibeji took a deep breath, closed his eyes and bent his head backwards.

“Baba Ibeji, what are you waiting for? Call the police to get this wretched woman out of our house.” Iya Kehinde shouted. “I regret the day you brought her into this house. Ah, Baba Ibeji, you have killed my son. You have killed my Kehinde.”

“Enough.” Baba Ibeji shouted her down.

“Hmm….mmmmm.” Iya Kehinde hummed and cried as she shook her feet impatiently.

Baba Ibeji called Taiwo and asked him to go down the road to call the police to make an arrest. Thereafter, he placed a call to Mojirayo’s parents to come urgently. Mojirayo’s parents arrived in a jiffy thinking there was another gift to be received. They got to Baba Ibeji’s house and noticed the tense atmosphere. They met Taiwo outside and asked him what the problem was. Taiwo pointed into the house without a word. Everything that had happened still looked like a dream to him. Mojirayo was carrying his baby. Baba Ibeji was still unaware of Mojirayo’s situation and now she was getting arrested.

He still could not comprehend the motive behind Mojirayo’s lies. Would Mojirayo reveal that she was pregnant or would she decide to terminate the pregnancy? If she decided to have the baby, what was the future of the unborn baby in detention? Would they ever find out that Mojirayo was arrested for a crime he committed?

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

—————————————————- THE END ——————————————————

Love, Lies and Murder – Part 2

Baba Ibeji knew that the exams ended two weeks ago because his twin sons also wrote the same exams. He had waited patiently for Shina to bring Mojirayo to him. Six weeks ago, he started buying trendy clothes, make-up and other fashion items. He had an idea of how he wanted his trophy wife to look. He moved his youngest wife from the room closest to his and gave her another room down the hall. Every day he went out, he came back with a new item which he put in the room and locked up. That was going to be Mojirayo’s room. She needed to be close to him. The other wives had lost steam and he needed someone fresh to make his blood boil and awake all his senses. His youngest wife did not understand what was going on but her seniors did. Was that not how they were also bounced to rooms down the hall when she took over?

 

Baba Ibeji had been reminiscing on his first night with Mojirayo. He had played the night over and over in his mind. He imagined Mojirayo was a virgin because he had never seen her with those riff-raffs who lived in his face to face apartments. It was like a dream come through when Shina approached him to seek for funds for her exams. This was his opportunity and he would be foolish to make it slip off his hands.

He went back home with Shina’s promise. He dared not refuse to fulfill it. They would be thrown out of his house before they even spelt Baba. He went to bed joyful. Tomorrow night would be the night. The night he had dreamt of the past six weeks.

 

Shina fulfilled his promise and took Mojirayo to Baba Ibeji’s house. Omowunmi prepared her daughter for the life of a married woman telling her never to reject her husband’s advances. She told her never to consider family planning as having many children would stamp her authority in her husband’s house and make her a woman to be reckoned with. She reminded her that she was the youngest wife and therefore, the favourite. She told her to make the best use of her status and better the life of her family as soon as she could. Mojirayo listened to her mother with a blank stare. She had been trained to be an obedient and responsible child and so she would remain for the sake of her family.

 

Mojirayo’s first night with Baba Ibeji was painful. Her mother told her not to reject his advances; she forgot to tell her that the result of those advances would hurt her. Baba Ibeji thought he was being careful with his new wife, he had forgotten that his calloused hands from years of working on the farm would graze her skin. He was too much in a hurry to take his wife whole as his excitement had built up immediately he touched Mojirayo’s full bosom and squeezed them as if he was milking a cow. He wondered why she insisted that he turned off the lights but it didn’t matter to him. She was standing right before him and she was all his for the taking. Mojirayo bit her lips till they bled as Baba Ibeji drove into her grunting and panting like a man on a race track and in two minutes, it was all over. Baba Ibeji was well endowed and he took pride in it. He lay on Mojirayo and she had to struggle to push him over. His mouth odour slapped her face when he asked her if she enjoyed it. Since the room was dark, he failed to notice that his new wife had tears on her cheeks. Mojirayo wiped her tears as she coughed a yes. The next three nights were visiting nights for Mojirayo. It was the same routine. Baba Ibeji’s grunting, his loud snores after and Mojirayo’s crying as she hurt all over her body. She however, endured the pains anytime she remembered her family’s living conditions. She was bent on not conceiving for Baba Ibeji and she used pills everyday which she kept at the bottom of her box.

 

In nine months, the fortune of her family changed. Her father got the Toyota Camry he wanted, her siblings changed schools and her mother changed her line of business. Even the room they lived in received an upgrade and her father rented another room; making their abode a room and a parlour. Things changed for the better for her family but Mojirayo lived in misery. Her senior wives also made life a living hell for her. She however received sympathy from Baba Ibeji’s twin sons. They had taken note of her immediately they arrived from a vacation at their cousins. Their father had sent them there two days before Mojirayo’s arrival and he had asked that they stayed there for about six months. They were just two years older than Mojirayo and they found it strange that their father had taken a young girl as a new wife. Their first three months at home, they had watched Mojirayo like an eagle would watch over her young chick. Taiwo noticed every move she made and soon began to take a liking to her and tried to make small talk with her while Kehinde, even though also liked Mojirayo was indifferent towards her.

Baba Ibeji’s elder kids lived on their own while the younger kids were in school, leaving the twins and Mojirayo alone at home during the day. The three wives all had businesses they ran while Mojirayo was confined to stay at home and be beautiful.

Over the next six months, Taiwo gradually became attached to Mojirayo. He knew Baba Ibeji must never find out about his dalliance with his wife, he therefore stayed in his room once his father returned from his farm.

************

One sunny afternoon, a friend of the twins decided to pay them a visit. Mojirayo was watching a movie in the living room. She stood up to open the door for him. Adeniyi was struck by Mojirayo’s beauty and for a few seconds, he was tongue-tied.

“Hello. How may I help you?” Mojirayo asked when she noticed the guy just stood before her like someone lost in a trance.

“Erm….I want to see Taiwo and Kehinde.” Adeniyi replied almost in a stammer.

“Okay, come in.” She said as she turned her back to lead him in while Adeniyi looked at her as if she was a newly acquired statue. Mojirayo called the twins out of their room and retreated into hers. Adeniyi continued to look at Mojirayo as she walked away. Taiwo sensing what was going and uncomfortable with the way his friend gawked at Mojirayo, slapped him on his hand.

“She’s taken.” Taiwo said angrily.

“By who?” Adeniyi asked as he rubbed his hand.

“Baba Ibeji.” Kehinde responded.

Adeniyi looked at them with shock. “How can your father take such a beauty away from young boys like me?”

“What did you come here for?” Taiwo asked getting irritated.

“Haha! I came to visit you nau. Am I not welcome in your house again?” Adeniyi asked.

Kehinde shrugged while Taiwo refused to give his friend an answer.

 

Forty-five minutes later, Adeniyi stood up to take his leave and Kehinde offered to walk him out. Kehinde also mentioned to Taiwo that he needed to get to the barbing salon down the road and would be back soon. As Adeniyi and Kehinde walked out, Taiwo stormed towards the rooms upstairs and banged on Mojirayo’s door.

“Why are you banging on my door?” Mojirayo asked as she opened the door.

“Next time, please don’t open the door for Adeniyi.”

Mojirayo looked at Taiwo confused. “I don’t understand.” She said as she walked into her room.

Taiwo followed after her and closed the door behind him. “I don’t like the way he was staring at you.”

Mojirayo raised her hands and shrugged. “So, how does that affect me? He is your friend.”

“He is not my friend. He is Kehinde’s friend.”

“Well, he asked after both of you. Was I supposed to tell him you weren’t home?”

“Just don’t let him in next time.” Taiwo said angrily.

“I don’t understand why you are getting angry. If you have a problem with him, why don’t you sort it out with him or your brother? Abeg, leave my room. I want to sleep.” Mojirayo said as she walked towards the door.

Taiwo was however faster than her. He held her back and grabbed her waist as he kissed her lips roughly. Mojirayo put her hands on his chest as she resisted him by pushing him back. She slapped him on the face but Taiwo was undeterred. He pulled Mojirayo into his arms and hugged her tightly. She initially tried to struggle out of his grip but relaxed when his arms became too strong for her.

“I’m your father’s wife.” Mojirayo said as she breathed heavily.

“I know but I am in love with you.” Taiwo said as he whispered into her ears. “And I know you have the same feelings for me but would deny it.”

He was right. Mojirayo had fallen in love with her husband’s son but it was unheard of. He was totally different from his father. With him, there was always something to talk about. They shared gists about school, watched the news together and sometimes discussed his plans to go to the university in a few months. She knew her education ended in his father’s house and that there was nothing she could do about it. She had been confined to Baba Ibeji’s house. Taiwo also showed her love and care every day. In Baba Ibeji’s books, those words took a different meaning.

Taiwo kissed the nape of her neck and Mojirayo melted in his arms. They kissed passionately and in an instant, Taiwo lifted her as he placed her on her bed gently and teased her sensitive spots with kisses. Mojirayo hugged him tightly as her body throbbed with passion. She had never felt this way and Taiwo had just given her a different definition of pleasure. She gave herself wholly to him and Taiwo proved he was a man.

As Taiwo stood up to get dressed, he kissed Mojirayo’s lips. “No one must find out about us including Kehinde.”

Mojirayo smiled as she nodded. Taiwo left Mojirayo’s room and entered into his just as Kehinde walked into the house.

——
The story continues…

Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com

The Wait – Chapter 9

Kokumo was in the faculty building when he was told by the secretary that he had a letter. He wondered who could have written him a letter as he had only previously received letters from Ajoke. As he collected the letter from the secretary, he looked at it and immediately recognized Ajoke’s handwriting. He sighed as he put it into his folder. Why was she writing him a letter? Was it to inform him about how she enjoyed her married life or what? He wasn’t sure he wanted to read the letter. It would only open his heart to another round of hurt and he was trying to get over her. He made up his mind not to read the letter. He got to his room later in the day and flung the letter into his travel bag.

 

Ajoke wondered why she did not receive a response to her letter. Even though her husband tried to make her happy, she remained an unhappy woman. She did her wifely duties as she should but found no joy in her home or her husband. She thought about Kokumo day and night and sometimes imagined he would pay her a visit. She lived with her husband in a decent self-contained apartment within the averagely expensive part of town. All her friends who had gotten married before her envied her. None of their husbands could afford to live in the part of town where Ajoke lived with her husband. Adejoro continued to work hard and he did his best to take care of his wife. However, Ajoke’s heart still longed for Kokumo even though, she knew his good bye to her behind her house on the day he arrived from school had been final.

Four weeks after her first letter, she wrote another one. She longed to hear from him. She wanted to know if he still thought about her. She wanted to know if he still missed her or if he had moved on and thrown her into the dustbin of history.

Kokumo received the second letter six weeks after the first. He was at the verge of opening it when he shook his head and flung it into his travel bag. No, he wasn’t going to read any letters from Ajoke again. In a few days, he sat for his exams and was through in another three weeks. He packed his few clothing into his travel bag and prepared to go home.

———-

Three months after Ajoke’s wedding to Adejoro, she found out she was pregnant. She knew she was supposed to be happy at the life growing inside of her but it only made her more sorrowful. She endured every night attending to the needs of her husband and the consequences lay inside of her. Adejoro had been elated when he found out his wife was carrying his first child. He immediately registered her in a Primary health care centre and ensured she got enough rest.

Six months later, Ajoke gave birth to a boy after an easy labour. Her mother praised her for her bravery and was thankful to God for giving her a grandson. Adejoro’s mother moved in with them to assist Ajoke with taking care of the child. Adejoro converted his self-contained apartment into a two-bed so as to accommodate his mother. She stayed with Ajoke for a month before leaving and Ajoke’s mother moved in to continue from where she stopped. Iya Ajoke stayed for six weeks. When she was sure her daughter was strong enough to handle the job of taking care of her home and her son, she returned to her husband’s house.

With a baby to take care of, Ajoke’s mind became occupied and thoughts of Kokumo became relegated to the back. She however wrote him another letter to inform him that she now had a son which she would have loved to be his. Six months after she had her son, she found out she was pregnant again and was even three months gone. Adejoro was ecstatic. Everything seemed to be working in his favour. His family was doing well and he was never short of sub-contracted jobs to handle. In a few months, he would be through with the technical college and he knew that while his friends would be roaming around looking for jobs, he already had jobs waiting for him to handle. Life couldn’t be better for himself and Ajoke.

Ajoke had a baby girl six months later. Her mother-in-law and her mother took turns to take care of her baby as they previously did. Iya Ajoke told her daughter how proud of her she was; having two children of different sexes in quick successions. She also never failed to praise her daughter’s husband, Adejoro for taking good care of her daughter.

 

Ajoke’s children were aged eighteen months and six months when Adejoro came home to inform his wife that one of the companies he sub-contracted for was offering him a scholarship to further his education in the United Kingdom. Ajoke looked at her husband as if he spoke in another language.

“You can’t be serious.” Ajoke shouted when she found her voice.

Her daughter began to cry and Ajoke immediately scooped her up and strapped her to the back as she patted her daughter’s bum to stop her from crying.

“It is just for a few months, Ajoke. Before you know it, I will be back.”

Ajoke harrumphed.

“Ajoke try to understand. I may never get this opportunity. Don’t deny me of this, please.” Adejoro pleaded.

“How long is a few months?” Ajoke asked as she sighed deeply.

“Twenty-four months.”

Ajoke’s jaw dropped. “And you call two years just a few months?” She asked in anger.

“Ajoke!!!” Adejoro called as he stressed her name.

Ajoke clapped her hands together and opened the palms facing upwards. “Okay oh, I have heard you Adejoro.  I don’t want you to say later that I denied you of progressing in life; God forbid. You are free to go.”

“Thank you.” Adejoro said as he moved closer to his wife and gave her a hug.

“When are you leaving?”

“In two weeks’ time. I will make sure I send money to you monthly through one of my friends for your upkeep.”

Ajoke shook her head as she thought about her children. How was she going to cope in the next two years?

 

Two weeks later, Adejoro travelled out of the country leaving Ajoke in the care of his mother. Even though Ajoke was yet to fall in love with her husband after over two years of marriage, she had grown fond of him and thought maybe she would eventually forget about Kokumo.

Adejoro’s mother moved in with Ajoke immediately after her son’s departure to keep her company. She stayed with her for six months and left after her grand-daughter clocked one.

Even though Adejoro was on a scholarship, the company paid him a monthly stipend to keep body and soul together. He therefore kept his promise by sending Ajoke a portion of his monthly stipend through his friend, Akanbi. He also wrote letters to her to keep her informed of the on-goings with his education, while Ajoke replied with pictures of his children.

———–

Twenty-four months came quickly and Ajoke looked forward to her husband coming back home. She wrote him a letter in the twenty-third month to let him know that she and the kids were eager to have him back and expected a response from him. Four weeks passed by and she did not receive a response from her husband. She kept on going to the post office every day to check her box wondering why she was yet to get a response. By the twenty-fifth month, she became worried when she did not hear from her husband. She wondered what could have gone wrong and decided to go to his friend’s house.

Akanbi was about stepping out when Ajoke arrived there with her kids in tow. She strapped her daughter on her back while she held her son’s hand. Akanbi welcomed her in and told her to make herself comfortable. Ajoke unstrapped her daughter and put her on the floor so she could play with her elder brother. She sat in the cane chair in Akanbi’s house favouring it for the couch in the living room. Akanbi brought some biscuits for the kids and a cup of cold water for Ajoke. He then asked her if he could be of any help.

Ajoke told him she was wondering why she had not heard from her husband. He was meant to return to the country after two years and it was a full month after the agreed time. She asked him if there had been any change in the terms of his scholarship and why Adejoro had not responded to her letter. Akanbi stood up from the couch he was seated on and walked towards Ajoke. He sighed deeply as he took her hand and kissed it. Ajoke stood up abruptly, yanking her hand from him.

“What do you think you are doing?” She asked him.

Akanbi stepped towards her as Ajoke backed away. “You know Ajoke, you are still very beautiful even after all these years of not having a man to warm your bed.” He said smiling.

“Akanbi, I respect you a lot as my husband’s friend. I only came here to find out what is wrong with my husband.”

“Give me a chance to take care of you, Ajoke.” Akanbi said.

Ajoke looked at him as if she had just been punched in the face.

“Are you surprised?” Akanbi asked her as he moved towards her. Ajoke continued to back away from him till her back touched the wall.

Akanbi smiled knowing that he had her cornered. He moved closer to her pinning her to the wall with his body. He traced his fingers over her bare arms sending Ajoke into a shiver. “I have always liked you but Adejoro was faster than I was. Beautiful Ajoke, the darling of many Ipaja young men.” He said as he moved his fingers up and down her collar bone, his breath on her face.

Ajoke held her breath as her heartbeat increased. She closed her eyes and bit her lips. She had not been touched in two years and her body was sore with desire. She did not push Akanbi back and he took this as his cue. He was already aroused and excited as his nether region stood out in the Ankara sokoto he was wearing. He slipped his hand under Ajoke’s dress lifting it up as he glided and pressed his excited lower torso to hers and hugged her tightly at the waist. A shiver ran through Ajoke’s spine causing a   gasp to escape her lips as her body warmed and craved a man’s touch.

Akanbi’s excitement increased as he realized he had broken her will and she longed to have him. He struggled to take off Ajoke’s underskirt with one hand while he tried to untie the rope on his sokoto with the other hand. All of a sudden, Ajoke’s daughter started to cry. Ajoke shook as she came out of her reverie. Her underskirt was on the floor and Akani groped her as he also struggled to step out of his sokoto. She looked at her daughter who was crying and crawling towards where she stood and took a look at Akanbi. He had taken off his underpants and was about to lift her off the floor when she pushed him back. He staggered backward a bit surprised at the sudden change.

“What is wrong with you?” He said moving towards her.

“Don’t come near me.” Ajoke shouted.

Akanbi laughed. “What will you do?”

Ajoke started sobbing. “Why would you do this to your friend’s wife? He trusted you.” She said as she picked up her underskirt from the floor and put it back on.

Ajoke’s tears shocked Akanbi and he stammered. “But…but…Ajoke, you also want this. I know you do. Your body longs for a man. Just once won’t hurt. No one will know, I promise you.” He said as he stepped forward and tried to touch her.

Ajoke knew she had failed her husband and she felt sorry. She shouldn’t have come here in the first place. She hit Akanbi’s hand away as she picked up her crying daughter, put her on her back while Akanbi watched confused.

“Ajoke, please don’t go. I will take care of you.” He said.

“I don’t need you to take care of me. I just want to know when my husband is coming back.” Ajoke cried.

“Your husband is never coming back.” Akanbi spat.

Ajoke looked at Akanbi with shock. “What did you say?” She asked as she held on to her son’s hand.

“You heard me. Adejoro is never coming back. He is dating someone else who he intends to get married to.”

Ajoke shook her head vigorously. “No, no, stop lying against my husband.”

“So why hasn’t he responded to your letter? Why hasn’t he told you anything about his return?”

Ajoke burst into tears as she carried her son, opened the door in a hurry and ran out of Akanbi’s house.

——-
The story continues…..

Photo Credit: http://www.gettyimages.com

The Height of Deceit….excerpted from “To Love And To Hold” by Olubukola Adekusibe.

Fadeke touched down in Abuja at 7.45a.m. She changed her itinerary at the last minute and decided to take the second flight into Abuja. She knew Chinedu wasn’t expecting her until 2p.m but she wanted to give him a surprise. She had called him two nights earlier and he had confirmed that […]

via The Height of Deceit … By Olubukola Adekusibe — MakeADream_NG

I thought you were the one!

She was 17 going on 18 when you met her. You warmed yourself up to her family and you dropped the toga of the guest and became a welcome brother and friend. You chatted freely with every member of her family. You were no longer considered a visitor. You became the perfect christian brother.

You asked her what she felt about the age difference in the relationship between Abraham and Sarah. She told you if it could happen in Bible times, it meant it could also happen now. You smiled. Only one person understood that smile and He was watching. You asked her to become your prayer partner. The deal was to wake up at an agreed time every night to pray. It would have been unholy to ask her to meet with you for such meetings. She willingly obliged. It was to wake up and pray, right? She always did that. So it was not a daunting task.

It was time to answer the call of the nation and you were gone for three weeks engaging in the drills and obstacle courses. You came back with tales and she looked forward to the time when she would also engage in them.

You called her aside one Godly evening. You were about to leave for a longer period to serve your nation and you did not want to leave your fiancee in limbo. She was surprised that you hadn’t introduced your fiancee to anyone yet. Then, you dropped the shocker. She was your fiancee!

Questions tumbled from her mouth like a tap that had lost control of its head. “When did you begin the relationship?” “When did you propose and she agreed?” “When did an ordinary brother/sister relationship become an engagement?” She wanted immediate answers. But your response was that you were now making it known. Oh dear! You thought because she was young and naive, you could play on her intelligence. True, she was young. But she was not naive. Yes, she lacked experience, but she was not easily cajoled.

deception

You found out quite soon. You assumed you could bombard her with bible passages, writing her long epistles quoting the whole book of Ecclesiastes 3. You had forgotten she also had a bible and could read up the verses without having to quote the whole chapter in a letter. For every letter you wrote quoting bible passages, you got an equal response in return. She realized you were the Abraham and she was the Sarah. Oh, why did you not just tell her then?

You pleaded with her to drop the prefix you had previously insisted that she put before your name. How could you have forgotten so soon? That prefix was going to remain there as far as she was concerned. You asked for it, so you got it.

You expected her to be subservient to you. You wanted a woman who had no opinion. A woman who listened only and never spoke. A woman with no dream or a vision of her own. She saw it and she detested it.

Finally, you understood. She could not be the one for you. Another epistle came forth. The courtship was one sided. God’s will was not being followed. She smiled when she read it. It took you too long to understand. She went back to being your younger sister. Deception was finally over.

———

Photo Credit: http://www.pd4pic.com

Second Chances – Episode 9

As Sola drives to Tolu’s apartment, he rethinks his decision to see her while Kunbi lies critically injured in the hospital. The doctor had said she needed to rest but he still felt obligated to be by her side in her time of need. She was the reason why his relationship with Tolu was going smoothly. The visit to Tolu could wait. He is about to make a U-turn when he remembers that Wale would have left the hospital as well. He shrugs and decides to continue with his visit.

30 minutes later, Sola parks his car a few metres away from Tolu’s apartment. He walks to the door carrying a shopping bag and a bouquet in his hands. He attempts to knock on the door but then hesitates. On second thoughts, he places his hand on the door handle and the door opens. His surprise visit is working better than he planned and he goes in smiling.

The TV in the living room is switched on but no one is there. There is an opened bottle of wine and two glasses half-filled with wine in the living room. A shiver runs down his spine and he feels cold and hot at the same time. Sweat beads at his forehead and he pulls out a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe it. He drops the shopping bag and the bouquet on the floor as he hears laughter. He recognizes that laughter which has become distinguishable. He moves towards the direction from where he has heard the laughter. It gets louder as he moves closer to a room. It is obvious there are two people in there as he can hear a man talking.

As he gets to the door, he shuts his eyes afraid to imagine what is going on behind it. He breathes deeply as he places his hands on the door handle and opens it. He gasps at the sight before him. Tolu is shocked when she sees him. She stands up from the bed immediately and struggles to tie a wrapper over her chest. She runs to meet Sola but he turns back and leaves in anger.

Spying

“I don’t know how I got home. I still can’t believe it. I almost feel like this is a bad dream that I would wake up from. She has called me severally today but I have refused to pick her calls”. Sola says shaking his head.

“I’m at a loss for what to say. I guess I should say I’m sorry but I think you should have picked up her call at least to hear her out”.

Sola looks at Kunbi in shock. “What? How can you say that? What could she possibly have to say?”

“I mean, just maybe….”

“Just maybe what, Kunbi. Maybe what? Am I to listen to an explanation for being in bed with a man old enough to be her father or will she explain why I was fooled and led on all along? Please give me a break”. Sola says in anger.
“I’m sorry, Sola. I know you are hurt. I have no intentions of rubbing it in”.

Sola sighs as he moves towards Kunbi. “You don’t have to be. I’m sorry I yelled at you”.

“It’s okay”.

He looks at his wrist watch. “It is late. I should leave now so you can rest.” He says as he lifts her up to re-adjust the pillow. “I won’t be able to come here with Wale tomorrow morning but I’ll definitely come home to see you. Is that okay?”

“That’s fine. Thank you”. Kunbi answers smiling.

“Take care of you”. He says as he touches her lightly on the cheeks.

Kunbi looks at him and is scared of what she sees in his eyes. She looks away as she replies; “I will, thanks”.

She refuses to look his way again until she hears the door shut firmly. She breathes deeply as she shakes her head and turns to look at the door through which Sola has just stepped out.

*************************************************************************************

A week later, Wale is sitting in the living room reading a newspaper. The TV is switched on and a music video plays on mute. He suddenly remembers something and drops the newspaper on the settee.

“Kunbi, Kunbi”. He calls.

“Yes dear”. Kunbi answers from her room.

“Please come to the living room”.

She walks into the living room wearing a white tank top and lounge pants. “Yes, what’s wrong?” She asks as she sits down on the couch facing him.

“I’ll be traveling to Abuja to supervise one of our sites. I leave tomorrow evening”.

“Home alone again?” Kunbi asks.

“I can’t help it”. He shrugs. “I have informed Sola and he will pick you up from work in the evenings”.

“Thanks. That’s thoughtful of you”.

“Anything for my baby cuz”. He says smiling. “I would have asked him to pick you up in the mornings as well but I don’t want to push the favour”.

“No, that will be too much. I can take a taxi to work”.

“Sola is just a call away in case you need anything”.

“Okay, how long will you gone?”

“About a week. I pray it doesn’t take longer than that to conclude”.

“Okay”. She says nodding.

“So are you going to tell me who beat you up last week?” He asks; his tone serious.

“Wales, I thought you’ve forgotten about the issue. I’ve put it behind me”.

Wale looks at her with surprise. “What do you mean by forgotten? Someone barges into my house, beats up my sister and you say I should forget and put it behind me? Really?”

“Wales, please we have talked about this….” She is saying as Wale interrupts.

“Don’t patronize me. I have only given you time to recuperate. I need to know the culprit”.

“Please promise me you won’t go out this night”. Kunbi pleads.

“I can’t. Is it meant to be a trade by barter?”

“Why can’t you? Okay, I’m taking the car key”. She stands up to pick up the key.

“Do whatever you like, I’m not bothered. What I need to know is this person you have refused to name. Is it Ola?”

“Erm….” Kunbi stammers.

Wale looks at her as he searches her face. “Yes….”

“Actually….erm….”

“Speak up, Kunbi. You’re wasting my time”. He says with irritation.

“It’s….it’s Ola but he didn’t mean to….”

Wale stands up in anger. “Give me the key”.

“I’m not giving you the key. Wale, please listen to me”. She pleads trying to calm him down as she holds him by the hand.

Wale snatches his hand. “Leave me alone. If you are not giving me the key, then just leave me alone”.

He paces the room biting his finger in regret. Suddenly, the doorbell rings and startles Kunbi. She runs to the door, fidgeting as she opens it.

“Thank God, it’s you”. She says.

“What’s the problem?” Sola asks walking into the living room.

“Please could you talk to your friend? He wants to go to Ibadan this night”. She says shaking.

“Hey, take it easy. I’ll handle the situation”. He says patting her on the back. “My guy, what has come over you?” Sola asks as he sees Wale shaking his head in anger and regret.

“I told you Ola was responsible. Didn’t I? I was so sure about it”.

“Yes, you were right and I was wrong to underestimate him”. Sola says matter-of-factly.

“So, if the same was done to your sister, you would fold your arms and congratulate her, right? Tell her to hand over my car key”.

“Take it easy, man. You won’t be helping matters by beating up the guy”.

Wale laughs with mockery. “You think so”.

“Right now, you’re not thinking straight. What if something happens on the way to Ibadan at this time of the night? C’mon, no one is happy with this issue, but we have to let it go. Besides, we do not want you in prison with a murder charge hanging over your head”.

Wale sits down in anger and Sola jerks his head to signal to Kunbi to take over. Immediately, Kunbi kneels in front of Wale.

“Wales, I know how much you care about me and want the best for me. I couldn’t have asked God for a better and more loving big brother, but you should understand that I still need you”. She holds his hands. “Please forgive Ola and let it go. I’ve forgiven him already”.

“Please stand up. I have heard you. So easy for you to forgive the bastard”. He hisses.

“Please….” Kunbi stresses still on her knees.

“Get up please. You can reserve the kneeling down for your husband”. Wale says as Sola and Kunbi burst into laughter.

————–
Photo Credit: http://www.pinkroma.it

To Love and to Hold – Episode 15

Tochukwu had been heartbroken after Chinedu’s refusal to date her. Even though Kunle had tried to talk Chinedu into taking advantage of the situation, he had been adamant. There was no use dating her if he did not love her; Chinedu had said. When Chinedu gave him the liberty to take his place, he had been so elated. To him, Tochukwu was going to be another of his conquests. He had stalked her for two days in a bid to find out where she stayed outside campus. With that accomplished, he decided to pay her a visit.

That fateful Saturday morning, he had left his hostel very early and was knocking at her door at 7.45am. Tochukwu, who was still in bed had risen up to open the door after a couple of knocks.

“What are you doing here?” She asked surprise clearly written on her face. She was still in her baby doll negligee but was not in the least bothered that it was a see-through. Kunle was seeing her without make-up for the first time and he wondered why she bothered to use one. She was very pretty with deep set eyes which were accentuated by high cheek bones. She was truly a beauty to behold. “Damn, what was Chinedu thinking about refusing this damsel?” He thought as he looked from her face to her see-through negligee.

“Excuse me? I asked what you are doing here at this time of the day.” She asked again seeing that he was obviously carried away.

“I came to say hi. Can I come in?”

“Okay”. She replied stepping aside while stifling a yawn. “Did you have to come say hi this early? It’s a quarter to 8.” She continued as she looked up at the clock on the wall.

“I’m sorry if I woke you up. I just felt you would need company, being a weekend. So, I decided to make myself available”. He smiled as she tried to stifle another yawn.

“Why are you smiling?”

“I guess you are still sleepy”.

“Anyway, how is Chinedu?” She asked taking her bath robe from her wardrobe.

“He’s okay. He’s still himself”. He shrugged sitting down on her bed and taking a good look round her room.

“Just okay? Does he talk about me? I mean, do I stand a chance with him?” She asked. “I’m sorry to bombard you with questions about Chinedu but you are his best friend; can you put in a word for me? She pleaded as she sat with her legs crossed on the bed and propped herself up with pillows.

“Tochukwu, I sincerely think you should give up your dream of being with Chinedu”.

“Why? I won’t give up on him”.

“He is my best friend and I can tell you categorically that he is not interested in dating anyone for now. You are a very pretty lady. Why waste your time on someone who won’t appreciate you and what you’ve got?” He cajoled.

“Thanks. I’m flattered but do you know how hurting it is to be rejected by someone you love so much. I haven’t even been given an opportunity to prove myself”. She said as her eyes filled with tears.

To Love & to Hold 25

“Hey baby, leave Chinedu alone and let him go. You shouldn’t do this to yourself”. He said moving closer to console her. “The fact that Chinedu doesn’t want you has not stopped other men from desiring you”. He continued as he wiped her tears which were now spilling down her cheeks.

She desired Chinedu so much that she felt heartbroken by his rejection. If only he could give her just one opportunity. She would shower him with so much love that none could compare. “Can’t you convince him?” She asked breaking into uncontrollable sobs.

“I won’t deceive you, Tochukwu. No amount of convincing would change his mind. He is as stubborn as a mule”. He said as he pulled her closer to himself. He wondered why she was breaking apart over his best friend who cared no less about her feelings. As she rested her head on his shoulders crying, he felt pity for her. He pulled back her hair which had dropped to cover her face and kissed her tear-stained cheeks. He noticed that she did not resist and went further to kiss the nape of her neck. She seemed to be lost in her world of grief and he decided to plant a full kiss on her mouth. At first, she tried to push him away, preferring to remain in anguish but his insistence took the better part and right there; she gave herself entirely to him.

To Love & to Hold 25b

As they both lay in her bed savouring the moment they just had together, she raised her head a little to look at him. “Kunle, we shouldn’t have done this”.

“I know but you were grieving so much that it just happened”.

“But it was wrong of you to have taken advantage of the situation. I love Chinedu and I intend to get him at all costs”.

“Hmm…..” He said as he rose up to get dressed. “I’m sorry if you think I took advantage of you. It wasn’t intentional. As for Chinedu, I think you should give up the fight. I really like you a lot and I think we could roll together”.

“You can’t be serious. You think this one-time together would give you leeway. I would advise you erase what just happened from your memory and never mention it to Chinedu”. She hissed.

“Cool. I won’t mention it to him but I think you should sincerely consider my offer. You are only going to remain hurt trying to win him over. He won’t budge. I know him more than you do. Besides, I have got a lot to offer. You are too pretty to keep on hurting over someone who doesn’t care about you”.

“Thanks for the offer but I would rather keep on trying. Please close the door after you and remember what happened in here must not be heard by a third party”. She said as she pulled up her bed cover, dismissing him.

The knock on the door brought Kunle out of his reverie. He looked at his wristwatch. It was a quarter after 3.00pm already. The knock grew persistent, irritating him. He flung the magazine on his bed and stood up to open the door. Tochukwu was carrying a travel bag slung across her chest, still chewing her gum. Without a word, he stepped aside for her to come in.

“Don’t you think you should have gotten back to me before now?” She asked in disgust.

“I guess I was the only one writing exams, right?”

“Very good excuse. Exams have been over for close to a week now. Anyway, I did not come here to trade words with you. I came for results”. She replied as she pulled her bag over her head to drop it on the bed.

“The result is as it has always been. He does not want you”.

“And you couldn’t convince him? I hope you are not thinking you would get out of this so soon and very easy. You can’t be free until Chinedu is mine”. She spat.

“Look Tochukwu, I have tried my best. You knew before we dated that he never wanted anything to do with you so why would you put me under undue pressure now? If you think you have got information that can ruin my friendship with him, please go ahead; I don’t care. You can’t continue to threaten me over nothing”. He replied angrily.

To Love & to Hold 26

“What’s that supposed to mean? Don’t dare me. You don’t wanna know what I’m capable of doing”.

“What are you capable of? Tell me. What exactly can you do? You are just a miserable bitch”. He said raising his voice. “I don’t even know why I am wasting my time talking to you when I should be on my way home”. He continued as he lifted up his travel bag from the bed.

“Kunle, you called me a miserable bitch? You will know what a miserable bitch is capable of doing by the time I am through with you. I would so ruin you that there would be nothing left to salvage”.

“Get out of my room”.

“I would be back. I promise you”.

 

As Tochukwu sat behind the driver who had been assigned to pick her up from school, she reminisced on what had just taken place in Kunle’s room. He had dared her and she was going to ruin him. She always got whatever she wanted but her desire for Chinedu was proving to be beyond her reach.

***********

Her parents, Chief and Chief (Mrs.) Abanum had been married for twelve years without a child. Every form of medical test was carried out but doctors continually confirmed that they were both medically fit to have kids. When Mrs. Abanum had gotten pregnant for the first time after twelve years, her husband had flown her abroad; away from the prying eyes of relatives. It had been a battle to keep his marriage as his relatives had continually advised him to get a fertile virgin from the village to bear him kids. All sorts had been insinuated about his wife; she had eaten up all her kids, she had handed them over to the queen of the river, she had sold them to ritual killers for wealth and so on.

After Tochukwu was born, her parents tried having more kids but were unsuccessful. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise to all who knew them that they pampered their daughter to no end. Everything she wanted, she got. Every school vacation was an opportunity for her to travel abroad and travel round, she did. She was the typical spoilt child who never cared whose ox was gored as long as she got whatever she wanted. She therefore, grew up to become self-centered and spared no one her tantrums; her parents inclusive.

As she bit her lips in anger, she thought about what she could do to teach Kunle a lesson he would never forget. She could call Chinedu and tell him that his best friend was scheming to date his girlfriend. She could even say she saw them together in a compromising position. That way, she could also get back at Fadeke. She also needs to be dealt with. As she considered what her next line of action would be, a thought filtered through her mind. Would Chinedu believe me? There was a high possibility that he wouldn’t. She knew he loved Fadeke too much to believe any cock and bull story cooked up about her. Kunle, on the other hand, had come a long way with Chinedu. All the odds are against me and I’m going to end up the loser. It won’t be a big deal if I lost Fadeke’s friendship, but I am definitely not ready to lose my prospects with Chinedu.

She thought about what she could do. Chinedu was slipping off her hands; a fact that stared her in the face. The threat she issued to Kunle was also going awry. She had assumed she could wrap him around her fingers for a while and make him do as she wished. But her plan wasn’t working as expected any longer. She chewed on her fingers and soliloquized, “Tochi, think, think!”

To Love & to Hold 26b

“Sorry small madam, were you talking to me?” The driver asked looking back.

She suddenly realized that she was still in the car. “Talking to you?” She hissed. “Abeg, face front. Who is talking to you?”

“Sorry ma”.

She looked at her wristwatch. It was a quarter to 7.00pm. She rubbed her temples trying to ease the headache that was setting in. What she needed now was good food and a bed to lay her head. The troubles of the day had taken a toll on her. Tomorrow was another day.

——————

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To Love and to Hold – Episode 14

Chinedu had woken up early to read as he had gone straight to bed the previous night after leaving Kunle’s room. By 7a.m when Kunle walked into his room, he had already put in 3 hours of study. “Hey, morning. I hope you are better”. He said as he stood up from his reading table to stretch his limbs.

“Yeah, thanks man”. Kunle replied as he sat down on Chinedu’s bed. He had woken up with a determination to call Tochukwu’s bluff but before leaving his room that morning; she had reinforced her threat to inform Chinedu about his recent attraction to Fadeke and that he was hitting on her. Even though he wasn’t hitting on her, he knew that his recent attraction was going to raise an alarm. Chinedu had noticed his strange behavior and it wouldn’t take long for him to put the pieces together. On the other hand, he wasn’t sure whether Fadeke would eventually tell Chinedu about what transpired between them the night he walked in on her.

“So, are you and Tochukwu back together?” Chinedu asked breaking into Kunle’s thoughts.

“Not at all. You were the reason why she came visiting”. He replied thinking of how best to approach the matter at hand.

“Me? I don’t understand”.

“Chinedu, don’t you think you are putting all your eggs in one basket. You know I have mentioned this to you before”.

“I still don’t understand what you are trying to say”. Chinedu answered looking lost.

“What I mean is Tochukwu came to see me yesterday still professing her love for you. She’s obviously over me and confessed that even while we were together, she longed for you. Chinedu, I think you should give her the benefit of doubt”.

Chinedu who was still standing was so astonished; his mouth was agape. Was that the reason why Tochukwu had come to see Kunle at that time of the night? He was even more shocked by Kunle who knew too well that he was committed to Fadeke. “You are crazy, man. I can’t believe you would even attempt to sell Tochukwu to me. Do you realize that Tochukwu and Fadeke are roommates? I have never mentioned her to Fadeke just because I do not want her to feel threatened. I can’t, won’t and would never give Tochukwu an opportunity; if that’s what you are asking for”. He concluded angrily.

To Love & to Hold 24b

Kunle opened his mouth to speak but thought otherwise. It was no use. He knew even before he attempted to, that Chinedu wasn’t going to give in. The next step was to inform Tochukwu about the development. He had tried his best; as far as he was concerned.

*********************************************************************************

30 minutes later, Chinedu was alone in his room thinking. How else am I meant to tell Tochukwu that I am not interested in her? I have tried all I can; but it does not seem to be working. I have never met a woman so desperate and bent on having a man. Wasn’t it just three sessions ago that she was all over Kunle? To think that she could make a drastic U-turn with an intention to win me over again with Kunle’s help is unimaginable. Kunle should have known better. I am not into the two-timing game. I am not surprised that Kunle is not in the least jealous that his ex-girlfriend is making a comeback at his best friend. He is an unrepentant casanova who has the ladies whenever and wherever he wants them. I wonder why he has become distracted and unsettled of recent. He had always been able to handle his relationships and his studies perfectly well. I hope our final year exams are not taking a toll on him. Whatever the case, my mind is made up; nothing and no one can change it. I am stuck with Fadeke.

In four weeks, exams were over and students began trooping home in droves. Mr. Peters’ driver picked Chinedu and Fadeke from school and on Fadeke’s insistence; dropped Chinedu off at home. As he was stepping out of the car, he remembered his promise to his mother to introduce Fadeke to her during their next holidays. “Would you be able to come visit me some time during the holidays?” He asked.

“Why not? I would love to”. Fadeke replied excitedly. “When should I come over?”

“I would call you two days ahead to let you know”. He said slinging his knapsack on his back.

“Two days ahead? Does that mean you won’t call me every day?” She sulked.

“I will, my sweet “poff poff” cheeks”. He smiled touching her lightly on the cheeks. “Remember I have to work during the holidays. I would let you know when you should come over, all the same”.

“Oh, I absolutely forgot about your vacation job”. She said sighing. “No worries but I would expect your call everyday”.

“Yes, ma’am”. He replied as they both burst into laughter. He loved it when she laughed that way; like one who had no care in the world. He wanted to give her a kiss but thought against it. He was standing in front of the gate to his house and she was sitting in her father’s car with the driver behind the wheel. He would not want anyone misinterpreting his actions. He held her hand and squeezed it tight as he whispered “I love you”. Fadeke who by now had tears in her eyes from her bout of laughter returned the squeeze and whispered back a response.

As she was chauffeur-driven home, she laid back her head with loving thoughts of Chinedu filling her heart. She had never felt so loved by anyone besides her family. As she made a mental note of what she was going to wear to Chinedu’s house for the visit, she dozed off smiling.

************

“Come over to my hostel at 4.00pm. We need to talk”. Tochukwu said holding her mobile phone to her right ear and blowing a bubble with the gum in her mouth.

“I can’t make it. I’m going home at 4.00pm”. Kunle replied irritated.

“Sorry, darling. You can’t go home until you see me”.

“Do you ever stop, Tochukwu? If you need to see me, you know where to find me”.

Tochukwu was quiet for a while, chewing her gum with reckless abandon. “Okay, if that is how you want it. Expect me anytime from 3.00pm”. She said flipping her phone shut before Kunle could respond.

“What is all this?” He hissed.

He dropped his phone on his bed and continued arranging the few things he felt would be needed for the holidays into his travel bag. He looked at his wrist watch. It was a quarter to two. His intention was to leave school at 4.00pm and he sincerely hoped he had not made a mistake by asking Tochukwu to come over to his place. The last time, he had wasted two hours of his valuable time discussing her game plan. He was sure she wanted feedback. He sat on his bed and picked up a magazine. As he flipped through the pages, his mind raced back to when he was dating her.

———–

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To Love and to Hold – Episode 13

“This is not looking good”. Kunle said to himself. Tochukwu had caught him staring at Fadeke and knowing her antecedents, she would not keep her mouth shut. This was not news to Fadeke but it was definitely going to be to Chinedu. He put his palm on his forehead and closed his eyes, trying to think. He knew Tochukwu would love to have her pound of flesh because he jilted her. “Should I ignore the fact that she caught me staring at Fadeke? Would she mention it to Chinedu? Would he believe her? Chinedu isn’t one to believe telltale stories so that rules out the possibility of him taking note of whatever she would say. But I have to tread carefully”.

His obsession with Fadeke’s body was beginning to get out of hand. Since the day he saw her half-naked, his nights had been filled with dreams about her. That day had played itself over and over again in his dreams; his dreams taking him a step further than what he had seen. Each time, he woke up sweating and panting like one who had been on a race course. He sighed blowing air out of his mouth. “What have you gotten yourself into, Kunle? This is crazy, man. Damn crazy”.

“Hey, are you talking to yourself?” Chinedu said walking into Kunle’s room. “I heard you talking about crazy. What’s crazy?” He tapped his friend on the shoulder with a mischievous grin on his face.

“Oh, that was nothing”. Kunle replied taken aback. “I was just thinking about our final exams and all”.

“Hmm….you sure? Or is your new catch playing hard to get?” Chinedu asked walking towards the bed to sit down.

“My new catch?” Kunle asked looking lost.

“Yeah, your new catch. Are you okay? You have been disoriented of recent.”

“I’m good. Maybe the coming exams are getting to me”. Kunle replied forcing a smile. “I think….” He was interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Come in. The door is open.” Chinedu replied turning towards the door.

As Tochukwu walked into the room, Chinedu and Kunle looked at each other with surprise boldly written on their faces. “It is already 10 pm and too late for a visit. What has come over her? Does she ever give up? I wish I was through with school and finally out of her reach.” Chinedu thought.

Kunle looked at her standing arms akimbo by the door and wondered. “Has she come to have her pound of flesh? She takes no prisoners. What better time to come see me than now? From the firm look on her face, she means business.

“Are you guys going to keep on looking at me like I was some newly acquired statue or would you offer me a seat?” Tochukwu hissed.

“You can have a seat”. Kunle said pointing to the lone chair in his room. “Don’t you think this is a little late for a visit?” He continued.

“Who decides what time is late? The guest or the host?”  She sneered, ignoring the chair as she walked towards the bed to sit beside Chinedu. As she sat down, she put her hands on his thigh and smiled at him. “Hi Chinedu. It’s been a while”.

To Love & to Hold 23

“Yeah, been a while”. He replied removing her hands from his thigh. “Kunle, we would talk tomorrow. It’s already late”. He said, standing up to leave the room.

Kunle could only respond with a nod. His mind was already running amok as he wondered what the whole charade with Chinedu was about. Is she back to her obsession with Chinedu? That would be good news. It would only mean she has gotten over me jilting her. He looked on as Chinedu closed the door behind him. He sat down on the bed absentmindedly and was jolted back to reality by Tochukwu’s hiss. “I did not realize you now find your fellow men attractive as well”.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Kunle asked in annoyance. She is really beginning to get on my nerves and the earlier she makes her mission known, the better for me.

“Exactly what I said. Do you also find men attractive or why were you staring at Chinedu as he walked out?”

“Look Tochukwu, I haven’t got time for this. Why are you here at this time of the night?” Kunle asked changing the topic.

“10 pm is now late to be in your room? Have you forgotten so quickly that we spent many late nights together in this same room?”. Tochukwu asked scornfully.

“Okay, can you get to the point?” Kunle asked getting impatient.

Tochukwu stood up from the bed and walked towards the window with her back to Kunle. She had a mission and Kunle’s impatience wasn’t going to stop her from what she had made up her mind to accomplish. She gradually unbuttoned her shirt and turned round to face Kunle when she was done. “What do you think you are doing?” Kunle asked shock written on his face.

Without a response, Tochukwu walked towards the bed, knelt down in front of him and planted a full kiss on his lips. Kunle who was too shocked to speak pulled her back and asked, “What exactly do you think you are doing?”

“Tell me you haven’t missed this”. She asked rolling her eyes seductively.

To Love & to Hold 23b

“Sincerely, I have”. Kunle replied his defenses breaking. “Come here, baby”. He continued as he pulled her up from her kneeling position to the bed. As he kissed her passionately, she responded just like she had done in times past and in a few minutes, she had undressed him to his underpants. As he was about to lay her down to take pleasure in her, she pushed him with so much force that he fell with his butt to the ground.

“What the …..?” Kunle cursed as he hit the ground.

“So you still have the guts?” She hissed buttoning her shirt. “Wow Kunle, you are so pathetic. Did you actually think I would go to bed with you again after all the pain you have caused me?” She asked shaking her head with pity. “And don’t even think you can force yourself on me. I am sure the whole school would like to know the treacherous friend who is hitting on his best friend’s babe”.

“Who told you I am hitting on her?” He asked standing up.

“Well…. I can see how good you are doing down there”. She mocked looking at his nether region.

“Who told you I am hitting on her?” He repeated as he picked up his trousers from the floor to wear it.

“She told me herself. Don’t even try to deny it or have you forgotten so soon that I saw you staring at her backside”.

“Accepted, I was looking and not staring at her”. He emphasized. “But I have never, I repeat never tried hitting on her. It was just….” He was saying and stopped mid-sentence. Fadeke and he had agreed to keep the incident of the other day a secret. Could Fadeke have told her what transpired between them? No, she wouldn’t. She knew that would be putting her relationship with Chinedu at stake.

“It was just what?” Tochukwu probed.

“It was just a coincidence that you saw me looking at her. I wonder why she would tell you that I was hitting on her”.

“Well, you must have given her that impression considering the way you were ogling at her”. Tochukwu said trying to scheme her way. “And I am sure you don’t want Chinedu finding out”.

“Get to the point, Tochukwu. She did not even know I was looking at her. What do you want?” Kunle snorted.

“I want Chinedu”. She replied matter-of-factly.

“Excuse me! This is not Chinedu’s room; so why tell me you want him when you know where to find him”.

“Hey, don’t play dumb with me. You and I know that Chinedu doesn’t want to have anything to do with me”. She retorted.

“You are not making any sense. You want someone who does not want you. How is that meant to be my business?”

“It is now, baby”. She said standing up and walking towards him. “You are going to get him for me or the whole school would know what you have been scheming with Fadeke”. She said whispering into his ears and giving him a peck on the cheek.

“You are such a bitch”. Kunle spat. “How am I supposed to achieve that when he can’t even stand you? “Besides, it is your word against mine.”

“Not when Fadeke has told me you are hitting on her.” She said with sarcasm. “So, we are in business”. She said clicking her tongue as she lay down on Kunle’s bed.

“What do you think you are doing?”

“I’m going to bed, isn’t that obvious? Or do you think I would go back to my hostel at this time of the night?” She said adjusting the pillow to suit her.

———–

Kunle looked at his wristwatch and realized it was already a quarter to midnight. He had wasted almost two hours talking to Tochukwu on a silly mission. He looked at her as she closed her eyes. What have I gotten myself into? I never imagined that I would be threatened by anyone, much less a woman I dated. Did I turn her into a bitch by jilting her or was she simply one by nature?

As he sat on the lone chair in his room, his mind roved for a solution. I could inform Chinedu about the silly mission; but wouldn’t that amount to shooting myself in the foot? Tochukwu had so many wiles up her sleeves. What if she decided to tell Chinedu a twisted story just to get back at me? And what is Fadeke’s position in all this? Did she actually tell Tochukwu that I was hitting on her or is this a fabricated story? Could she have told Tochukwu about the incident of that night?” He bit his upper lip and shook his head. Entangling himself from Tochukwu’s web was more difficult than he thought.

To Love & to Hold 24

All of a sudden, he raised his head to look at Tochukwu who was already fast asleep. It dawned on him that Fadeke wasn’t aware of Tochukwu’s obsession with Chinedu. How naïve she was. She had a traitor as a friend and in all this; she was bound to be the loser. As he lay back on the chair and closed his eyes, for the first time in a long while, Fadeke wasn’t the issue on his mind. Getting himself out of Tochukwu’s web was uppermost.

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